2016 Summer College League Top Prospects Index
|SUMMER LEAGUE TOP PROSPECT LISTS|
|Baseball America is ranking the top prospects in 17 summer leagues as well as Team USA.|
|Alaska League||Futures||Team USA|
|Atlantic Collegiate||Hamptons Collegiate||Texas Collegiate|
|Cal Ripken Collegiate||Jayhawk||Valley|
|California Collegiate||MINK||West Coast|
|Cape Cod||New England Collegiate||Great Lakes|
|Florida Collegiate||Prospect League|
MINK ($) 1. Jacob Ruder, rhp, Branson (So., Kansas State/Cowley County (Kan.) CC) Ruder looks the part at 6-foot-6, 225 pounds. Over 21 innings for Branson this summer, Ruder fashioned only a 4.71 ERA but struck out an impressive 27 hitters compared to just eight walks. Described by MINK League coaches as one of the more polished pitchers in the league, Ruder has developed a comfort level with his large frame. Ruder sits 88-92 mph with his fastball and has shown vast improvements with his breaking ball, according to a scout familiar with the league, since graduating high school, when he was a 37th-round selection by the Royals. Ruder has transferred to Cowley County (Kan.) CC.
Alaska League ($) 1. Stephen Kolek, rhp, Mat-Su (So., Texas A&M) A year after Corbin Martin was named the circuit’s best prospect, another Aggie landed atop the list as the physical righthander Kolek flashed the type of movement and velocity on his fastball that made some think he could be a first-round pick in due time. The younger brother of 2014 No. 2 overall pick Tyler Kolek, Stephen pitched in just 12 games for the Aggies as a freshman but impressed anyway, striking out 21 in 30 innings and posting a 3.30 ERA. He was even better for the Miners this summer, striking out 32 in just 37 innings and finishing with a 2.45 ERA. Already 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Kolek used a cutter, two-seam fastball and sinker, all of which sat 89-92 mph this summer, to overpower opposing hitters. Other pitchers on the circuit might have thrown harder, but few boasted more movement on their pitches than Kolek. The hard sinker is his best pitch currently and if he is able to add strength and velocity down the road as Miners’ coach Ben Taylor expects he will, the pitch will be downright lethal. He pitches off his variety of fastballs but his secondary stuff isn’t below-average either. The changeup has good sink in its own right and has a chance to be an average pitch down the road while the curveball needs refinement but did show good depth at times. Despite his size and how hard he throws Kolek doesn’t put a lot of effort into his delivery and his motion is very clean. This allowed him to throw all of his pitches for strikes in any count and keep hitters guessing. Kolek’s command came and went this summer but that was at least partially attributed to the movement on his pitches.
Cape Cod League ($) 1. Brady Singer, rhp, Falmouth (So., Florida) Drafted 56th overall by the Blue Jays in 2015, Singer was the highest-picked high school player in the draft to continue on to college last year. He worked primarily out of the bullpen this spring for the Gators and joined Falmouth’s rotation after Florida’s season ended in the College World Series. Including the playoffs, he made six appearances for the Commodores, going 2-0, 0.64 with 25 strikeouts and three walks in 28 innings. Singer was electric in his time on the Cape. Late running action makes his low- to mid-90s fastball very difficult for hitters to square up and left several opponents with broken bats. His slider is an above-average offering, capable of eliciting swings-and-misses. He has some feel for his changeup, still in its developmental stages, and he often overpowered hitters with only his fastball-slider combination. Singer comes right after hitters and fills up the strike zone. Singer is listed at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, giving him a good pitcher’s frame with room to add more strength as he continues to physically mature. He won’t be eligible until the 2018 draft but is an early candidate to be one of the first players selected that year.
Hamptons League ($) 1. Reiss Knehr, rhp, Westhampton (So., Fordham) Knehr followed up a tremendous spring at Fordham with a summer season that garnered Hamptons League pitcher of the year honors. The sophomore has a highly projectable body at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds and features a low to mid-90s fastball that topped out at 96 mph at the league’s all-star game. He shows quality feel for his slider/cutter, and both it and his changeup have movement in the zone. Knehr struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings to help him go 4-1, 1.15 in the regular season. He’s a guy that wants the ball in a big spot as well, and he backed it up with his performance in the championship series.
Ripken League ($) 1. Mike Rescigno, rhp, Baltimore Redbirds (Sr., Maryland) Resigno remade his college career switching from the infield to the mound as a sophomore in 2015. Pitching from a mid- to high-three-quarters arm slot, what was an 88-92 mph fastball this spring for the Terrapins turned into a 91-93 offering, touching 94-95 this summer for the Redbirds. In 13 games, he worked 16 innings with a 19-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 1.14 ERA. Resigno has the raw talent to develop further. After declining to sign as a 25th-round pick of San Francisco this June to return for his senior year at Maryland, his challenge will be to get more movement on his fastball and sharpen his offspeed in order to move up the 2017 draft ladder.
Coastal Plain League ($) 1. Alec Bohm, 3b, Wilmington (So., Wichita State) One of the top high school players out of Nebraska in 2015, Bohm nonetheless went undrafted and headed to Wichita State to sharpen his raw tools. Standing at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, Bohm is a physical specimen but still moves well in the infield. The righthanded hitter has begun to refine his power, and it is translating into games. Bohm hit .303 with six home runs this spring as a true freshman at Wichita State, but has really found a power stroke with wood this summer. Bohm tore up the CPL to the tune of a .330/.407/.552 line with 11 home runs.
Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League ($) 1. Drew Tumbelty, rhp, South Jersey (Jr., Rider) Tumbelty is a converted infielder who only pitched six innings for Rider this spring but thrived as a closer for South Jersey. He pitches off a fastball that sits at 90-91 mph and touches 94-95. He has to improve his secondary pitches, using a borderline breaking pitch at present. He posted four saves during the regular season with 22 strikeouts in 18 innings. He’s still new at pitching, but has the arm to succeed at the pro level once he develops a good secondary pitch to compliment his fastball.
Texas Collegiate ($) 1. Nick Anderson, of, Victoria (So., Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) Anderson got regular playing time as a freshman for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the spring and served as Victoria’s 3-hole hitter over the summer. Although he stands just 5-foot-10, he has a physical frame and projects to get stronger in the future—he hit only one homer for A&M-CC but drilled four with wood bats for Victoria, making him the team’s leading home run hitter despite his being hobbled by a groin injury in the middle of the season. He’s an instinctive baserunner and has the speed to play center field, though he needs to get better reads and jumps.
New England Collegiate ($) 1. Tommy Doyle, rhp, Keene (Jr., Virginia) Doyle went 2-7, 5.07 in 64 innings with Virginia in the spring, making seven starts but pitching primarily out of the bullpen—where he’s been for most of his Virginia career. However, the 6-foot-6 righthander blossomed in a starting role with the Swamp Bats during the summer, going 1-1, 1.62 with 40 strikeouts to seven walks in 33 innings and establishing himself as the clear top prospect in the league. With his big frame, Doyle generates downward angle on a heavy 91-93 mph fastball with natural cutting action. Doyle touched as high as 96 mph this summer and lives at 93-95 in short relief. He generates swings and misses with a hard 82-85 mph slider while also commanding a curveball and mixing in an occasional changeup. Like most Virginia pitchers, Doyle begins his delivery with a knee bend—though an abbreviated one. His repertoire, body, command and effortless velocity point to a future as a starter, and a strong junior season with the Cavaliers could elevate his draft stock to that of an early round pick.
Northwoods League ($) 1. Mitchell Kilkenny, rhp, Madison (So., Texas A&M) Kilkenny worked out of the bullpen for Texas A&M this spring but impressed when he did get opportunities, posting a 1.67 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 27 innings. He started five games for Madison and showed the best combination of stuff and projectability of any pitcher in the league. Listed at 6-foot-4, 202 pounds, Kilkenny has a lean, athletic frame and his motion is loose and easy. He stays upright throughout, throws from a high three-quarters arm slot and works quickly. Kilkenny works with a four-pitch arsenal and throws them all for strikes—he had just three walks in 32 innings this summer. He works 90-94 mph with his fastball, throws a changeup and curveball in the 77-80 mph range and a cutter from 87-91 mph. The latter pitch might be his best—it has excellent depth and deception, especially when it’s thrown down in the zone, and hitters were often helpless against it during the summer.
Jayhawk League ($) 1. Keegan Curtis, rhp, Hays (Jr., Louisiana-Monroe) Curtis became a full-time starter late in the spring with Louisiana-Monroe, averaging 7 strikeouts per nine innings and posting a 1.12 ERA after being moved off the closer’s role. He continued that success into the Jayhawk League, where he averaged 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings and had a 1.05 ERA in four appearances. The 5-foot-11, high-kicking righty attacked hitters from a three-quarters arm slot with three pitches. His fastball sits at 90-92 mph with some arm-side run. He throws two breaking balls, the best of which is a 76-78 mph offering that he can throw for strikes or get hitters to chase out of the zone. While closing last season, he was able raise his fastball velocity into the 93-95 mph range.
Prospect League ($) 1. T.J. Collett, c, Terre Haute (Fr., Kentucky) Collet ranked No. 364 in Baseball America’s top 500 draft prospects this spring—he passed on signing as a 40th round pick—and showed why over the summer. The rising freshman at Kentucky has a potential plus hit tool and above-average power as well. His pitch recognition has earned the praise of scouts and also helped him grind out a .345 average this summer. At 6-foot, 225 pounds, he has good size to project explosive power in his big lefthanded swing. His receiving and blocking are serviceable right now but will need development in college, while his arm is clearly his best tool defensively.
Valley League ($) 1. Corey Childress, rhp, Harrisonburg (Jr., Troy) A relief pitcher in his college season at Troy, Childress started nine games this summer for Harrisonburg. He led the league in wins (6), innings pitched (56) and was second in strikeouts (52). Childress’ main pitch is an 88-93 mph fastball which can touch 94-95. His other pitches include an 80-84 slider with occasional hard break downward and a loopy curve at 72-73 which he locates on the outer half of the plate. He pitches from a standard three-quarters slot, cocking his arm back and holding the ball for a moment pre-delivery before he comes forward.
Futures League ($) 1. Nick Mondak, lhp, Torrington (Fr., St. John’s) The lanky Mondak spent all summer dominating college hitters for Torrington, finishing with a 1.45 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 43 innings. But what was especially impressive for opposing coaches is that he put up those numbers while using his 88-92 mph fastball almost exclusively all summer. In one start against Seacoast, Mondak struck out 12 hitters in seven scoreless innings and Seacoast manager Ben Bizier estimated Mondak threw three offspeed pitches in the entire outing. The key is his ability to spot the pitch on either side of the plate and its subtle late life which helped him generate a lot of swings and misses. Mondak’s easy delivery and projectable frame (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) make many think there is more velocity in his arm and the fact that he was still throwing 90-92 late into some of his outings only served to reinforce that belief amongst opposing coaches. The effectiveness of his fastball meant that his changeup and curveball are still very much works in progress. They were effective this summer because Mondak’s easy arm action meant that all three pitches looked the same coming out of his hand. But the changeup doesn’t have a lot of sink to it yet and while the curveball does have some bend, it is more of a show-me pitch than a true weapon. The pitches aren’t sharp yet and weren’t used as more than a change of pace this summer, but Mondak made up for that by being able to throw his secondary pitches for strikes consistently. What makes Mondak such an intriguing prospect is that he is barely 18 years old. His ability to throw strikes with all three pitches, repeat his delivery and command his fastball is uncommon for pitchers fresh out of high school.
California Collegiate ($) 1. Kyle Johnston, rhp, Santa Barbara (Jr., Texas) One of several Longhorns in the California Collegiate League and on the Foresters, Johnston had an exceptional summer, going 4-1, 1.89 with 54 strikeouts, 28 walks and just 34 hits allowed in 52 innings. His signature performance came in a June 29 start against Team USA’s Collegiate National Team, in which he allowed just one run on four hits, struck out six and walked none in a six-inning effort. Johnston had the best arm in the league, touching 96 mph and often pitching at 93-94 mph. His 86-88 mph power slider is an above-average pitch that flashed plus, and he flashed an average changeup in addition to a show-me curveball. A strong, physical 6-foot, 220-pound righthander, Johnston’s greatest weakness is his fastball command. Though his mechanics are fairly sound, he gets in trouble when he tries to overthrow. Johnston made 14 starts for Texas in the spring and should be a key part of the weekend rotation in 2017.
West Coast League ($) 1. Jared Horn, rhp, Bellingham (Fr., California) Viewed as a borderline first-round talent in June, Horn held firm in his commitment to the Golden Bears and slipped to the 20th round before the Brewers took a flier on him. He spent the summer in Bellingham, Wash., where he earned high marks for his skill set, athleticism and makeup. Horn's fastball sat in the mid-90s and flashed a few 98s. Bells coach Mike Gange said the breaking ball is more advanced than his changeup at this point, but called it "a true weapon" that has the "ability to get swings and misses while landing it for strikes early in counts." The 6-foot-2, 190-pound righty pitched out of the bullpen this summer and had some issues throwing strikes (14 walks in 18 innings). However, the stuff was there (16 strikeouts) and he only allowed five hits. Horn was a three-sport standout until his senior year at Vintage High in Napa, Calif., so he's considered relatively green. If he can learn to repeat his mechanics and find a consistent release point, there is a good chance he develops into an ace at Cal and potentially at the next level.
Florida Collegiate League ($) 1. Carlos Cortes, 2b/3b, Sanford (Fr., South Carolina) Cortes ranked as the No. 128 overall prospect for this year’s draft but passed on signing as a 20th-round pick of the Mets, choosing to honor his commitment to South Carolina where he should be an immediate contributor. He only played 12 games for Sanford but more than held his own against older competition as a rising freshman, hitting .426/.500/.638. Cortes has a balanced swing that produces consistent hard contact to all fields. His best position is the batter’s box though, as scouts have little certainty about where he’ll ultimately land defensively. He played mostly second and third base this summer—he’s also tried catching and playing in the outfield in the past—with second base figuring to be his best bet for the future, as he has below-average speed and a fringy throwing arm.
Great Lakes League ($) 1. Kevin Woodall, 1b, Lima Locos (Jr., Coastal Carolina)